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Last Night (Keira Knightley and Eva Mendes) next Rome opener

Massy Tadjedin’s Last Night, starring Keira Knightley, a romantic tale of sexual attraction, betrayal, and jealousy, will open the next International Rome Film Festival, running from October 28 to November 5, 2010, at the Auditorium Parco della Musica. Directed by Iranian-American Massy Tadjedin, with a star-studded cast featuring Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington, and Guillaume Canet, the film is set to kick off the competition section of the Official Selection.

Another hotly-awaited title in the Official Selection lineup is Rabbit Hole by John Cameron Mitchell, which marks Nicole Kidman’s debut as a producer. Starring Kidman along with Dianne Wiest and Aaron Eckhart, the film tells the dramatic story of a couple who grapple with the sudden loss of their only child as their already troubled marriage is further tested by the bereavement process.

Anticipation is also mounting for the Duetto conversation series in the Extra Section, a glorious tradition started by the Rome Film Festival. After Bertolucci and Bellocchio; Servillo and Verdone; and Muccino and Tornatore; two stars pivotal to Italian cinema over the past twenty years, Margherita Buy and Silvio Orlando, will pair up on the Auditorium stage. "I’m glad I met her,” says Silvio Orlando about Buy, “and even detested her, but in any case to have been there at delicate transitions in her complex career. I may even have been of some help to her; I do know we have shared a lot of laughs together.” While Buy gaily retorts, “When I see him walking like a duck, with his hands folded behind his back like the resident intellectual in a small town who spouts off about politics and the meaning of life at the café, I laugh my head off. Let me say, however, that sitting in that café is a privilege, because everything Orlando says is pure gold.”

The Festival’s youth-oriented section, Alice nella città, will host the premiere of the first Italian film in 3D, Winx Club 3D – Magica Avventura by Iginio Straffi. The film shows the Winx struggling to restore the status quo by defending the Tree of Life, which maintains the balance between Good and Evil, and striving to defeat the witches who have robbed them of them of their powers.

The Focus Section spotlights Japanese cinema and culture this year and will dedicate a special event to filmmaker Akira Kurosawa on the centenary of his birth. The Festival will be screening the restored version of Kurosawa’s masterpiece, Rashōmon. In addition, there will be a Focus tribute to director Satoshi Kon, who died yesterday at the age of 47.

Twenty years after the death of Ugo Tognazzi (October 27, 1990), the Festival will commemorate the actor with the premiere of the documentary by Maria Sole Tognazzi, Ritratto di mio padre. Tognazzi’s presence will be felt across the board in the Official Selection with a montage of the actor’s finest performances preceding each film in competition.

The International Rome Film Festival, which will run from October 28 to November 5, 2010, is organized by the Fondazione Cinema per Roma. The President is Gian Luigi Rondi, the General Director is Francesca Via, the Artistic Director is Piera Detassis, and the Director of The Business Street is Roberto Cicutto. Gianluca Giannelli directs the Alice nella città Section, Gaia Morrione is in charge of the Focus Section, and Mario Sesti directs the Extra Section.

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